here we go again, DirecTv/AT&T about to enter yet another local channel dispute, this time, with CBS (1 Viewer)

Claude Greiner

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
Detroit - The Paris of the Midwest
Yup. What's slowly happening (but really picking up speed here soon) is that the major content companies who own groups of cable and broadcast channels (plus movie and television studios) are going direct-to-consumer with their own streaming services that feature just their own stuff. You may be able to add in other companies' content as add-on subscriptions but you'll be able to buy, a la carte, just the stuff from Disney/ABC or WarnerMedia or NBCU or CBS/Viacom, etc.

Perhaps one day all of this will be retold in a mini-series, like a 21st century version of Pirates of Silicon Valley. The first episode might be called "Stream Wars" about the rise of a brash young hero named Netflix that aimed to transition from last-century DVD to the new-century technology of streaming video, first taking aim at King HBO but then broadening his scope to blow up the entire Cable TV Deathstar.

The second episode will pick up in fall 2020 and be called "Hollywood Strikes Back". But in this story, I'm not betting on the hero of episode one to completely triumph in the end.

The problem is that the RSN’s for example need to be part of a basic package or otherwise their direct to the consumer model does not work due to the rates they would charge.
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 24, 2009
Nashville, TN USA
The problem is that the RSN’s for example need to be part of a basic package or otherwise their direct to the consumer model does not work due to the rates they would charge.

As the bundle slowly unravels, all the players will have to figure out how to price their services in the new emerging landscape. My guess is that those RSNs won't be as profitable in the future as they've been in the past.

AT&T was smart and/or lucky in negotiating their latest round of carriage contracts for the RSNs before they got sold off to Sinclair. Note that the RSNs are relegated to the most expensive "Max" tier in DirecTV Now. I believe its packages will be the basis of the upcoming AT&T TV service too. (Meanwhile, DirecTV Now is being renamed AT&T TV Now; I think the difference is simply that the "Now" version will have slightly lower pricing but not come with a streaming box and offer just a few hours of cloud DVR while the main AT&T TV service offers 500 hours of cloud DVR.)

The more popular package will be the "Plus" package, priced $20 cheaper than Max. Plus offers the ESPN channels, plus FS1, NBCSN and Golf, along with the most popular entertainment channels. Max is really just for sports-lovers, adding the RSNs and various second-string sports channels like FS2, YES, Big Ten Network, Longhorn Network, etc.
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 19, 2019
For cbs u can try cbs all access but its $$

Me, in in a fox Nextstar market so I can use fox sports go app

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So the cbs dispute, since it's the parent owner "CBS" D* had to remove cbs on demand and others

But since D* still has an agreement with parent FOX , I can still use fox sports app and nbc app .

But the local channel nbc (10) fox (43) is blacked out via D*

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2015
If enough people cut the cord they will take the biggest hit as they charge the most.

Yes, ESPN will be hit far harder than Fox since they charge nearly $10/month for the full suite of ESPN channels, while Fox gets less than $2 for FS1/FS2. Estimates I've seen say that only about 25% of cable/satellite subscribers are sports fans, so if they could only charge sports fans ESPN would have to charge $40/month. Not many will pay that. It would be a lot easier for Fox to charge $6 or $7 a month for FS1/FS2.

So far ESPN et al are fine though, the rate of cord cutting is lower than the yearly price increases built into their contracts. Their revenue is increasing at much slower rate than they planned (hence the layoffs, because the money they pay for sports rights is increasing based on their previous assumptions of revenue growth) but it isn't like they're going under. If the rate of cord cutting gets in the 5-10% range, then it'll start to really hurt them, but cord cutting has been pretty steady. Maybe growing slightly over time but hardly the dire predictions of alarmists who say "the cable model is dead, everyone will be streaming in five years".

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